There has never been a construction project without disputes. Fortunately, most disputes get resolved without lawyers, courts, or arbitration. Sometimes, however, the problem is too big, or one of the parties is too unreasonable to come to the negotiation table. When this happens, the legal and court costs can be considerable, and in the end the parties often wish they had settled earlier. This article describes the different arrangements contractors and owners can use to negotiate settlements to construction disputes before they reach the courtroom or arbitration table. Why Settle Out of Court? In construction more than almost any other area, a negotiated settlement usually produces a much better outcome than one decided in the courts. This is because construction disputes have